Deeper conversation needed regarding the Fiasco fiasco

Deeper conversation needed regarding the Fiasco fiasco


Social media has been abuzz after Lupe Fiasco was escorted off stage after spitting politically charged lyrics at an inauguration celebration event on Sunday in Washington, D.C.

Fiasco’s politicized lyrical content did not focus on what Obama acolytes are currently challenging, such as domestic gun control and those who try to block “marriage equality.”  Rather, Fiasco read lyrics from his song “Words I Never Said,” which are critical of President Obama’s foreign policy pertaining to state sanctioned violence.

At the performance, Fiasco rhymed:

Gaza strip was getting bombed, Obama didn’t say sh*t

That’s why I ain’t vote for him, next one either

I’m a part of the problem, my problem is I’m peaceful

And I believe in the people.


Fiasco has also been very critical of the current U.S. drone program, which lacks transparency as to how persons are placed on extra-judicial kill lists as well as the high number of civilian casualties that have resulted from strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.

The organizers of the event obviously knew of Fiasco’s views and were imprudent to have invited him to perform at the inauguration celebration.  We can also question the timing and location of Fiasco making such a political statement.  What I’ve not seen much on social media and blogs, however, are harder discussions about deeper moral issues related to this incident.

First, why are there so many political progressives, who are vocal on domestic gun control and “marriage equality” that give the Obama administration a pass on its current drone program?  If President George W. Bush had a secret kill list that resulted in so many casualties of women and children, many of them would be up in arms.  This is partisanship and a good dose of identity politics to boot.

Second, would hip-hop music fans, who are dissing Fiasco about his bad timing and his “hating on Obama” be equally as outraged if a rapper was at an inauguration celebration talking about how much marijuana he smokes and how many “hoes” he’s “smashing?”  I dare to say no, because the culture of decadence is accepted more by hip-hop fans in this age than lyrics that question the political status quo and business as usual.

Third, given that this controversy was on the eve of MLK Day and the day in which President Obama ceremonially swore in on MLK’s bible, would MLK support current day American militarism and her current drone program?  I think that he would not at all.   In fact, I think that he would challenge those who claim to uphold his mantle that have been silent on these issues during the Obama years.

The fiasco pertaining to Fiacso being booted during his D.C. performance should prompt us to have deeper conversations is all that I’m saying.

Dawud Walid

Dawud Walid is currently the Executive Director for the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI), which is a branch of America’s largest advocacy and civil rights organization for Muslims in America. Walid is a preacher of the Islamic religion, who delivers weekly sermons at various mosques throughout Michigan.


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